Melaka to Singapore

Today we moved on from Melaka to Singapore. Breakfast was at 07.00, same old story as before… boring. Our bus left the hotel for the central bus station at 08.00.

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Our intercity coach, 2×2 seating throughout, left at 09.00. This bus had a very noisy diff which whined with a very disturbing scream all the way along the highway. But it was getting us ever closer to our destination and that was the main thing.

It seemed to me that most of Malaysia is covered in palm oil plantations. We travelled for miles and miles with nothing else to be seen from the bus. Some of the edges of the highway are planted with teak which looks like a good idea as teak has been virtually stripped from the forests. These trees will become a valuable resource in the years ahead. 

The crossing from Malaysia into Singapore had Alif, our guide, worried about possible delay.  But we managed to navigate the whole experience of leaving Malaysia and getting through the customs and immigration for Singapore in 30 mins.  We arrived at our hotel at 13.00, but were out again 20 mins later.  No rest for the wicked!

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Our time in Singapore was very short but long enough for a ride on SIN’s transit system.

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We were on our way to Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the well known three-tier building which is linked across the top of the three tiers by an infinity pool.  Alif, knows somebody who works there, so he was able to get us into a restricted area/bar – the Skybar.

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It’s actually above the pool, so very much on the top of the building on the 57th floor. Fantastic views of Singapore, but, as might be expected, the beer was very pricey.  One was enough with a small Tiger beer costing AUD18.85. I made it last a long time!

That aside, the views from the top were fabulous. So… let’s look down on SIN city.

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Marina Bay with the Art Science Museum at lower right.  It was designed by Moshe Safdie to represent the 10 petals of a waterlily. Stunning architecture.

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The massive skyline of Singapore city.

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The Merlin fountain, half fish, half lion, is the island’s mascot.

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Another view from the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel – the Singapore Sports Hub, at centre left.  The National Stadium boasts having the largest free-spanning dome structure ever built. The dome stretches 310m (1017ft) and can accommodate 55,000 spectators.

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From the vantage point of the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, I looked down on the ‘Gardens by the Bay’ nature park.  This massive undertaking covers 101 hectares (250 acres) of reclaimed land.

First mooted in 2005, an international design competition was held just one year later which attracted more than 70 entries by 170 firms from 24 countries.  The whole venture has proved very popular with 6.4 million visitors in 2014.  In November 2015, the Gardens by the Bay welcomed its 20 millionth visitor.

Two outstanding features of these gardens are the Conservatories, (the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest) and the SuperTree Grove. The two conservatories have been designed to be environmentally friendly while the “trees” act as intake and exhaust vents as well as structures on which all sorts of plants are grown, and as viewing platforms.

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Another view of the ‘Gardens by the Bay’ complex.

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The SuperTrees.

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Up at the Sky Bar on top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the girls in our group certainly enjoyed their cocktails. Goodness knows what they cost! But as we know, all good things come to an end and so we had to go back to our hotel.

We were warned that, unlike this super duper hotel, our hotel for the night was a ‘coffin’ hotel.  Many of the rooms had no windows. But, Madam Luck was on my side… it was my turn to have a room to myself AND I scored an outside room with no less than 4 windows, so the room was very bright. Yes, it was small, but perfectly adequate. And I had a really good night’s sleep. Just as well. I had a travelling day in front of me as I transferred to Jakarta, Indonesia. More anon.

David

All photographs copyright © JT  and DY  of  jtdytravels

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